Having passed my module one mock exams last week, two of which only just on the CTC pass mark, it was very much head in book over the days that followed in order to bring my average scores up. Knowing Principles of Flight was perhaps one of my greatest weaknesses I aimed to improve my understanding of its' basic concepts and found the YouTube channel AviationEnglishTV very helpful. Bristol Ground School and AviationExam question banks helped me to measure my own learning using previously seen CAA questions - something I'd highly recommend to anyone pursuing ATPL.
Since starting at CTC in August my life has been hectic so when my parents arrived in Southampton and offered to take me out for some food in the evening I could hardly resist! It was a lovely break from revision and it was great to see them having not been home in a while and if one thing came out of the meal, apart from free food, it was that I realised just how much I had actually learnt over the previous weeks. With Dad working in the industry, albeit with helicopters, he found some of it interesting. Mum on the other hand, not so much, so if you're reading, sorry for boring you.
After days of non-stop revision it was finally time to take the exams.
Human Performance and Limitations
First up on Tuesday was Human Performance and Limitations and what is usually seen as quite a nice exam turned out to be god awful! It's well known that the CAA have been changing the types of questions they ask in the exams but on our occasion it seems most of us were hit with exams containing the majority of these new questions. I say most, as each of us get different questions from a centralised bank. I know right, it could be seen as unfair. I honestly came out of the exam thinking I had failed which wasn't a great mindset to have given I had a second exam an hour or so later.
Mass & Balance
The exam that followed was Mass & Balance and I was feeling somewhat okay about this one. Even with that said, some of the factual questions caught me out and I did have to do some thinking. Overall I came out of the Mass & Balance exam feeling somewhat confident. That was it for the first day of exams and it was then home time to focus on General Navigation and Principles of Flight revision.
I regarded General Navigation as one of the more challenging topics of the module but was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the working out questions were not only ones in which I could answer but were worth 2 marks each. A few of the factual questions caught me so I came back to them at the end but they were nothing a little bit of extra brain power couldn't help me answer.
During our General Navigation exam the power to CTC went out!! Fortunately the exam room seemed unaffected as the I.T. equipment must have been running on the same backup power as the nearby server room. Even so, this certainly panicked those of us still in the room as we didn't want the progress we had made to that point to be lost. Thankfully all of us sitting General Navigation managed to complete our papers. If i had been a minute later in clicking 'Finish Exam' I think it would have been a different story as all power was lost a fraction of a second later!! Power returned later in the day but was later interrupted again and the second Mass & Balance sitting weren't so lucky and they lost everything. As the power cut was caused by a local construction site near the train station (supposedly), both CTC and the CAA decided our exams would be rearranged to fit within the gaps of CP147s' exams the following week.
Principles of Flight (slightly delayed)
Deep down the power going out was certainly a saving grace as it gave me even more time to revise for the Principles of Flight exam. Even with the additional time I still didn't feel 100% going in to the exam and the questions I had were quite tricky and worded strangely. Nevertheless I did my best and left hoping it was enough.
My first set of results arrived by email at 8am on the day after sitting General Navigation. I was so relieved with the results. The delayed Principles of Flight result came two days after sitting it and made for a very tense day and a half in Ground School as I was constantly going over the questions we were all asked. My overall scores for module one are as follows:
Having passed module one I am progressing in to Module Two and can somewhat leave these four topics behind. The first topic of the module is Performance where we build on the foundation knowledge in both Principles of Flight and Mass & Balance to start applying it to real-world flight situations such as runway condition, take-off, cruise, climb, descent, approach and landing phases of flight. Our instructor for Performance is both a former CTC cadet and easyJet pilot so i'm very much looking forward to seeing how he can link his experience on the line with his teaching. I'll be sure to post another update when we finish Performance in a week or so.